Why Unions Matter in Building Communities | National Union of Public and General Employees

Why Unions Matter in Building Communities

A personal story by Ndutta Njoroge

The concept of unions is not new to me. Actually, I can say that unions have had a great impact in my upbringing. Growing up in the busy city of Nairobi, Kenya, I have had the pleasure of seeing unions at work and I have also had the opportunity to see how much of an impact these unions have had in my community. I will give an example that I am very familiar with.

Kenya is well known for the high quality coffee and teas it produces. It actually warms my heart to see Kenyan coffee and tea products promoted in some well-known Canadian coffee shops such as Starbucks and Second Cup. When I see these products, it not only gives me a sense of pride that comes from being a part of the country, but it makes me happy to know the products being sold in Canada, will one way or another impact the coffee growers in Kenya. And all this, I can say is attributed to having unions.

Through unions like the coffee growers union, I have seen the community grow because workers are able to gain from the product of their hard work. They are able to stand up for their rights when they feel that they deserve more, and most importantly, the unions have offered a sense of security for the coffee farmers and their families.

Through such unions, I have seen homes and schools being built. I have seen parents who are now able to enjoy their lives because they now that through the unions and their hard work, their children’s future are guaranteed to be bright. Unions have definitely changed my life, and the lives of the people around me.


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE


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